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The reality is that life won’t get back to normal until a vaccine or palliative is widely available

June 21st, 2020

During the day I had a call from an old friend who told me she had recently come out of hospital after getting COVID19. Her story was, no doubt, very similar to what many of the hundreds of thousands who have been struck down with the disease have experienced.

The sheer awfulness of gasping for breath and then the incredible joy after arriving in hospital and getting oxygen. The totality of the pain, the physical discomfort when our organs aren’t functioning properly and the worry that you might not make it – that these could be your last hours made worse without loved ones being present.

In the end the big C did not take her which she put down to her working out every and maintaining a high level of fitness.

A reason for her call apart from giving me her news was to get over the message that however hard I am finding lockdown and shielding myself it was far far better than taking the risk of contracting the disease. Hard to disagree.

What struck me was however much ministers want to reopen the economy many people will, like me, be too damn scared to get back to normal until we know we are not vulnerable.

This is why a vaccine or palliative is so important. A recent New York Times survey found more 100 than separate efforts worldwide to develop an effective vaccine and other work is going on a palliative. When those will start to be available we don’t know but it is the only hope.

UPDATE This post has been amended to include a successful palliative being developed for those with COVID19.

Mike Smithson